Fox Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Southern Savanna Region -

The Winnebago Indians, the area’s first inhabitants called it Hosh-a-rac-ah-tah or “good land.” Later it was known as “Waushara” or “fish spear,” and finally as Fox Lake in tribute to Big Fox, a Winnebago who saved a local trapper. Today Fox Lake in the southern savanna region of Wisconsin is known as one of the state’s top ten fishing lakes and one of the best walleye lakes in the state.

A natural glacial lake, Fox Lake was enlarged in 1845 by the construction of a dam and sawmill on an outlet of the lake called Mill Creek. The dam raised lake levels about eleven feet and added significantly to the surface area of the lake. There are six islands totaling about 30 acres in the 2,625 acre lake and almost 18 miles of shoreline.

Fishing is a year round activity on Fox Lake. Anglers pull over 700,000 fish out of the lake every year, and there are abundant populations of walleye, northern pike, and crappie, along with muskie, bluegill and large and small mouth bass. For more than 30 years, the Fox Lake Property Owners have stocked the lake. In 1970 an aeration system was added to add oxygen to the water and prevent the lake from freezing completely protecting the fish populations from winterkill. Since then ice fishing has increased in popularity and dedicated anglers can catch fish in every season.

Access to Fox Lake is from one of several public boat ramps in city run parks around the lake. There is more than enough water for boating and waterskiing, and paddlers can explore the islands by canoe or kayak. Boat rentals are available, and after a day on the water there are plenty of lake front vacation rentals.

Fox Lake is in northwest Dodge County, an agricultural area known for making cheese and growing barley and peas. It’s a charming rural area whose population swells in the summer as visitors come to enjoy the county’s lakes and wildlife. Along with Fox Lake, nearby 268 acre Lake Emily and 6,542 acre Beaver Dam Lake offer visitors plenty of chances to play on the water. Established in 1922, a golf course near Fox Lake has been providing guests with a chance to enjoy the outdoors for decades. Hiking trails let visitors explore the surrounding countryside, and in the winter there are opportunities to snow mobile and cross country ski.

Dodge County has good waterfowl hunting and there are several public hunting areas around Fox Lake that regularly produces trophy sized white-tailed deer. For visitors who prefer to hunt with a camera, the bird watching is exceptional. Just a short drive from Fox Lake, the Horicon Marsh is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. The 32,000 acre marsh draws over 400,000 visitors a year and includes both a national and state wildlife refuge. There have been 260 different species of birds sighted at Horicon including migratory birds and waterfowl.

Established in 1838, the City of Fox Lake on the lake’s southern shore was the first settlement in Dodge County. It has any amenities a visitor might need and with real estate for sale, it is a great place for anyone wanting to make their stay more permanent. Accommodations range from lake front cottages to resorts, and Fox Lake has restaurants, shopping, and museums. In 1983 during the installation of a sewer system, workers discovered an archaeological site on Elmwood Island, one of Fox Lake’s Islands. It was a significant discovery and the remains were catalogued and are on display at the Fox Lake Historical Museum.

The amazing fishing, abundant wildlife and surrounding Wisconsin farmland combine to make Fox Lake truly “good land” and a great place to visit.

Things to do at Fox Lake WI

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Fox Lake WI

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Fox Lake WI Photo Gallery

    Fox Lake WI Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Water Level Control: WDNR, UW-Extension, Wisconsin Assoc. of Lakes

    Surface Area: 2,625 acres

    Shoreline Length: 18 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 892 feet

    Average Depth: 5 feet

    Maximum Depth: 19 feet

    Water Volume: 198,307 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1845

    Trophic State: Hypereutrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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